Shooting this commercial for Corona and Leo Burnett was very enjoyable.
The location, a region called Cuatro Ciénegas (which in Spanish mean “four marshes”), in northern Mexico, is a wide desert area peppered with natural springs that create dozens of incredibly blue lakes.
For the shoot we used a fantastic combination of toys and technologies. In fact we shot several sequences (especially water splashes) at speeds between 600 and 1,000 frames per second using a Phantom camera. We wanted to have impressive camera moves which is specially challenging when shooting at very high speed: We had to build very long tracks to allow the dolly to reach a speed that would still, at 1,000 frames per second, be noticeable.
We played with time-lapse equipment that we combined with infrared filters to achieve very unusual photographic effects. We spent several days testing the infrared filters to adjust the exposure and to detect the specific location and the light conditions in which they offered the most spectacular results. All time-lapse images were shot using a portable motion control rig because we loved the idea of shooting time lapse shots with the camera moving on several axes. This made the compression of time, characteristic of this technique, more impressive.
We also performed aerial shots with a Jet-ranger helicopter and a Tyler nose mount. We scouted the entire region to find the best angles from the sky and the locations that offered the best flying conditions. We shot the lakes flying at an altitude of less then 10 feet over the surface of the water and we flew trough deep and remote canyons not wider that 100 feet, and 300 feet deep.Finally, we used a 5D camera with an underwater housing to shoot deep inside the Poza Azul (The blue pond).